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Theme Of Trauma In Truman Capote's In Cold Blood

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Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” explores the theme of how trauma affects one’s future life and actions, especially in the character Perry Smith, whose childhood was characterized by neglect and uncertainty, leading him to commit serious crimes. Similarly, in “Poisonwood Bible,” Barbara Kingsolver expresses the same theme in the character Nathan Price, whose experiences in the war, when paired with a deep religious belief, led him to justify the abuse of his family with the words of God. Both Perry and Nathan’s experiences shape their actions throughout most of their adult life, though Nathan’s trauma does occur significantly later in life, after he had already established a plan for his future. In his past, Perry’s neglectful mother and unreliable father caused him to grow up with a sense of uncertainty, moving around through orphanages and Salvation Army homes, only occasionally living with either of his parents. Early on, he had very little moral direction, with “no rule or discipline, or anyone to show [him] right from wrong” (Capote 275). Because of the lack of attention he received as a child, Perry grew up directionless, not knowing a life apart from abuse and neglect, eventually turning to illegal means as a way to deal with the difficulties of his adult life. On the other hand, Nathan’s childhood is unknown, and his life in the book starts with the tent revivals he preached at in Pearl, Mississippi. Obviously, Nathan’s life is shaped by religion, which becomes difficult for him to come to terms with after his experience in the war. After narrowly avoiding death with his fellow soldiers in the Bataan Death March, Nathan’s religion twists into a…show more content…
However, both Nathan and Perry were profoundly impacted by the trauma they experienced and were heavily affected in their adult life by their previous
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